Liverpool could be ready to make a late play for Strasbourg centre-half Mohamed Simakan, according to reports. The Reds are keeping tabs on the French-born defender.
That’s what TeamTalk are claiming. The report states that the 20-year-old defender has become the subject of interest this month with RB Leipzig and AC Milan also keen.
So who is Simakan? And would he be a good signing for Liverpool? Here is a look at what you need to know…
1) Simakan plays for Strasbourg as a central defender. He has made 18 Ligue 1 starts this season, scoring once and also assisting the same number for his team. His club side currently sit 16th in the league standings with 17 points after 18 matches.
2) Simakan, now 20, made his debut for the French outfit last season. He played 90 minutes during a 0-0 stalemate with Stade Reims in August 2019.
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3) His contract with Strasbourg is due to expire in 2023. This hands his current club-side some leverage if they wanted to command a hefty price-tag for the young defender. Reports claim AC Milan are weighing up the prospect of a €15 million (£13.5m) bid.
4) According to Le10Sport, Frank Lampard and Chelsea also have made contact to sign the centre-back this month.
5) A centre-back by trade, Simakan also has the versatility to drop in and cover at right-back or as a midfielder if needed.
6) Field Insider liken his playing style to Sergio Ramos. He is described in having good organisation and leadership skills. Simakan is also blessed with blistering recovery pace and is comfortable in possession.
What they say…
Milan technical director and former captain Paulo Maldini spoke in glowing terms of the 37-time Ligue 1 centre-back
“At this moment, especially for our way of playing but also the situation of football in general, I would go and get a strong defender in one-on-one. That’s why we tried to sign Mohamed Simakan from RC Strasbourg,” Maldino told DAZN.
“The French league is not very tactical, as a result, the defenders develop the ability to defend well one-on-one. Whether it’s Simakan or someone else, our idea is to sign this kind of player. Maybe tactically with things to learn, but with physical strength and good defensively one-on-one.”
A good value signing?
Given Liverpool’s current defensive situation, any addition would be a welcome point during the moment in time.
The Reds are without all three of their senior centre-back as a result of injury, after all.
Fabinho has been forced to cover in an unfavourable position for the majority of the season. The Brazilian played the full 90 minutes in Liverpool’s previous nine league matches.
It’s unclear whether Liverpool decide to step-up their interest in the player, although given his age, there could be long-term value to be gained.
If Simakan does go to Milan, as suggested by Goal, Liverpool will likely keep tabs on the defender with a view to a future move if he continues to impress.